Summary: David that Great King of Israel, a man after God’s own heart, how was he put right with God considering his blunders?
Lately I’ve been looking at a few characters of the Old Testament, warty people, people who really didn’t appear to have much to offer, who God used to do great and even amazing things with. When we look at Great people of the Bible, we can’t really go past David, this young bloke who went out and sorted out the biggest meanest lions that were mauling his sheep and dropped Goliath like a stone, with just one stone from his like trusty sling. David who was a brilliant musician and sang like Placido Domingo in the court of King Saul, David who because of God’s leading him, was raised to the height of the King of all Israel, the second King of the United Kingdom of Israel and the father of the wisest of sons Solomon.
David was mans man, a true bloke, the stuff of legend a leader who lead from the front, from the times he sorted out the Philistines or conquered Jerusalem sorting out the Jebusites or when he brought the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem. David was a a Kings King. He even has his own city and his own star. Scripture records him as being “a man after God’s own heart”. We have this picture of the prophet Samuel telling King Saul, David’s predecessor that “But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.” (1 Samuel 13:14)
David was the man; he was God’s man, a man after God’s own heart. That’s not to say he always got it right. He was a man after God’s own heart because he worshipped the One true God understanding the Holiness of God, that apart from God nothing else was truly good, he realised his need to be in relationship with God, he put God first, if we look at Psalm 16:2 we read; “I said to the LORD, “You are my LORD; apart from you I have no good thing.”
Here we have David this great and magnificent king who had the flashest of the flash, the Rolls Royce Chariot, beautiful vibrant wives and concubines, the latest ‘Smeg’ clay oven, the most powerful of warriors at his beckon call, castles and crowns…but apart from God he had no good thing and he knew it. He knew that what mattered was a right relationship with God that having it all together spiritually meant having it together emotionally, mentally and physically. If he put God first all would fall into place.
Then we get this picture of this man who knows all this blowing it, he drops a clanger, not the time when he sees that lovely lady taking a bath from his deck and has his wicked way with her and then has her husband bumped off, I’m not talking about that time. He had to get sorted with God that time too!
This is another time when pride takes over; this is a matter of pride thing not a lust thing. This time it’s about trust in God. Let’s read 1st Chronicles 21:1-13.
If we look at this passage we see that God had covenanted with David and he had would subdue David’s enemies for him. The prophet Nathan brought David those exact words “I will also subdue all your enemies.” (1 Chronicles 17: 10b).
1) Then Satan rises up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. Why take a census? So David can be aware of how many fighting men he has, but why does he need to? Out of a desire to know the strength of his army, why does he need to know how strong his army is? He doesn’t. Satan is having a field day, God has already told David that he has no need for concern, but Satan incites him to count his troops, a cause for concern a sense of pride at the strength of his forces. Maybe this was to be David’s bargaining chip, I’ve got more troops than you’ve got! Maybe he wanted to show off to the ladies or mates down at the catapult club ‘I’ve got one point one million soldiers you know, how’s your little tribe!’ What it really came down to was he was incited not to trust God at his word.
Even David’s General Joab found this counting repulsive, in God’s eyes this was an evil thing to do, so the judgement of God came upon Israel.
The old pattern that had been with the Hebrew people, with all people, with people then and people now started again. There was sin; this is followed by judgement…
The punishment came as a consequence of the sin. Be careful here not to think that bad things only happen to bad people, let’s keep this in context, because while bad things happen to all, bad things often do happen as a consequence of sin. The truth is Satan will incite us to sin, no matter what it is it can destroy us; If you don’t believe that, here’s a question. Would you try swearing at your next important meeting or job interview? Of course not we can guarantee there will be a negative outcome, there are some things we just would not do because of the negative outcome. All sin has a negative outcome…the largest being distancing ourselves from God. Remember the old saying, “if your feeling distant from God guess who moved?”